- Clip file
- Public radio
- Skin Deep
Why teach inclusion?
With a black family in the White House and two female Supreme Court justices, do race and gender still matter? Journalists today are challenged to write about race in fresh and interesting ways. They must be able to report on any community, whether or not it is their own. News in a New America, commissioned by the Knight Foundation, offers a fresh perspective on diversity and shows what is needed to widen the perspectives journalists normally include in the news. If you want your students to bring audiences news as American as America, then try out this book in your course. You can download chapters or order a free sample copy from Sally Lehrman at slehrmanATscu.edu.
In this exercise, students learn the importance of sourcing across the fault lines. Help them discover diverse perspectives on the news by reading blogs from black and brown communities, as well as conservative and liberal perspectives.
Teach about inequity and how to report on it
Beats such as health, education and crime not only cross race, gender, generation and other fault lines, but involve issues of structural inequity. Many reporters have a hard time recognizing the institutional forces at play. Instead they choose to frame stories around personal responsibility or anomaly, missing the structures and policies behind the story. It's easy for stereotypes to creep in.
Journalists can learn to go deeper on any story by considering the social, political and other structural forces that help shape the outcome. Find resources for studying or teaching structural inequity here.
One way to strengthen your teaching is to collaborate with others. In my courses, I work regularly with these two resources:
NewsTrust is a social networking site that enables your students to build their news literacy and develop their capacity to notice and describe quality journalism. They can interact with other students and members of the general public on the site. The NewsTrust teaching guide offers useful support materials for use in class. To see the possibilities, watch NewsTrust and Twitter for Santa Clara University's upcoming collaboration with San Francisco State University, the University of Alabama and Columbia College in Chicago in a student-led, cross-regional news evaluation of immigration coverage.
Don't wait until graduation. Let your students participate in the public conversation around the news as soon as possible. By working with the ethnic media, you can help them develop an awareness of inclusion at the same time. My students produce work that is eligible for publication on SJBeez, an online ethnic media news collaboration that is a project of New America Media's Digital Divide Initiative.